Aug 022010

Testing the iPhone4’s Pano app while Josie (lower left) prowls for low tide critters at Lamoine State Park in Ellsworth, Maine.

“iPhoneography” is a new term floating around the web describing images made with the iPhone. I was never impressed with the quality of images from my old 3G iPhone, so when time came to upgrade, my main motivation were the improvements to the camera and video.

I was able to take the iPhone4’s camera for a test spin during a recent trip to Maine. Going for a dog walk at sunset overlooking Eastern Bay, there was a gorgeous expansive setting and a perfect opportunity, but I realized that a single image was not wide enough to do the scene justice, so it was a job for the Pano app. This image is 180 degree panorama composed of seven different exposures and stitched on the iPhone. Despite all the automatic settings, it handled the panorama quite well and required just minor exposure tweaks in Photoshop to bring out detail.

The humps of Acadia’s National Park’s Cadillac Mountain and the park’s other peaks are visible in the distance on the left. Cadillac Mountain at 1,528 feet, is the highest peak within 25 miles of the coastline of the Eastern United States, and if you are an early riser and adventurous, you can witness the first spot in the country to be lit by the sun’s rays in the fall and winter. Here’s a reverse panoramic view from the summit.

The new iPhone4 has much better image quality, shorter shutter lag times, HD video, and much faster processors, which make on camera processing and many other functions a much quicker experience not to mention a gorgeous sharper screen. I also have been playing around with the HDR app, and its ability to squeeze out a much greater tonal range in extreme shooting situations is simply amazing and probably a post for a later date.

I am one of those photographers rooted in photojournalism that liked to wear a camera at all times, but it is often cumbersome and impractical. Having the iPhone in my pocket is now the next best thing. Despite the bad press about antenna and connection issues, it was worth it just for the new image quality. As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you. Now if I can can only figure out the proper way to hold it it so it won’t lose a connection…

 August 2, 2010  iPhoneography, Landscapes, Travel Tagged with: ,

  10 Responses to “iPhoneography”

  1. Wow, how impressive Al! You are too mucking fuch!

    • Thanks Susan. Maine is a wild place to photograph, especially the coastline around Acadia, but I realized that the summer months with all the tourists, lack of parking and accessibility, is not the best time, not to mention waiting for the right light and time of day. I would love to do some photography there in the off season.

  2. That was one amazing sunset ! You captured one of the most spectacular moments of our vacation ;-)))

  3. I just read an article on the last roll of Kodachrome being shot and now your doing photography with your phone. If someone told you 10 years ago you would be doing this you would have laughed!
    As always ,very nice, Now how do I phone home?

    • Yeah, I find it interesting that we often underestimate the profound changes in photography in the last 20 years changing to digital after 160 years of chemical based processes. And in the end, it’s all about the final product whatever it takes to get there. I don’t miss the darkroom and all its chemicals. These are indeed exciting times for photography.

  4. Your eloquence in explaining your thinking behind “the shot” is exceeded only by the shot itself.
    Al, you have a fabulous eye for seeing the shot, then executing it, then perfecting it.
    One of these days you’re going to give me a heart attack because you take my breath away.


  5. Al,

    You shoot some pretty amazing images with a traditional camera. Now you’ve got another weapon in your arsenal.

    Nice job.